Act Like It, by Lucy Parker

act like it

Grade: B

Doing it at: 66%

Catnip: Fake it Till You Make It; Actors; The Theater; Love to Hate You; London; Lords and Ladies; 99 cent Books; Dual Narrative

Shame Scale: Very low, this one barely even has any dirty parts

Fantasy Cast:  Renee Olstead; Ramin Karimloo

Book Description:

This just in: romance takes center stage as West End theatre’s Richard Troy steps out with none other than castmate Elaine Graham

Richard Troy used to be the hottest actor in London, but the only thing firing up lately is his temper. We all love to love a bad boy, but Richard’s antics have made him Enemy Number One, breaking the hearts of fans across the city.

Have the tides turned? Has English rose Lainie Graham made him into a new man?

Sources say the mismatched pair has been spotted at multiple events, arm in arm and hip to hip. From fits of jealousy to longing looks and heated whispers, onlookers are stunned by this blooming romance.

Could the rumors be right? Could this unlikely romance be the real thing? Or are these gifted stage actors playing us all?

I’m a big fan of the fake relationship trope, both in books and in Hallmark movies. Everyone goes in knowing that the couple is going to fall in love for real and end up all happily ever after, but it’s still uniquely satisfying. Since I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately (lets blame this endless bleak grey winter that is CRUSHING MY VERY SOUL), I was desperately in need of the perfect, toothsome, candy floss book. Act Like It, fulfilled all my needs.

Lainie is an actress in a popular West End, London stage play. She’s one of the second leads, and has to spend every night acting out love scenes with her ex boyfriend; a philandering asshole who is as carefully groomed as a Backstreet Boy. The other lead actor in the production is Richard Troy, an actor who comes from old money and whose handsomeness is only matched by his prickishness.

In fact, Richard’s bad attitude has become such an issue that the play is losing money. They’re giving away free tickets to fill seats and that ain’t good. (I wish they needed to give away free tickets to fill seats at Hamilton, sigh) So, the theater manager, and Richard’s publicist, and Lainie’s manager decide that Richard & Lainie  should “date” to improve Richard’s image. The pot is sweetened for Lainie by a donation to the cancer charity she has founded in memory of her dead sister.

Act Like It follows the general formula; the leads hate each other, there is snarking and reluctance at first. Until the inevitable softening, and then the inevitable sexing. But this book follows the formula so beautifully. The banter between the characters is quick, sharp, and genuinely funny. Lainie is such a charming protagonist, and her gradual warming to Richard seems to happen naturally. At no point does the connection feel forced.

We spend the bulk of the book in Lainie’s head, but the glimpses into Richard’s– particularly while he is coddling a sick Lainie– are sweet and help to soften some of his extremely rough edges. Both characters are given enough back story to feel fleshed out without anything getting too heavy. I was also very into the amount of crap Lainie’s ex managed to pull while still, somehow, being a teensy bit charming. Like you could see what she had, at one time, seen in him. Even if her female friends have nicknamed him Wee Willie (whomp whomp). Of course the grumpy, posh, secretly adorable Richard is a vast improvement.

The sex in Act Like It is mostly of the fade to black variety, so if you’re looking for new spank bank material, this is not the story for you. HOWEVER, if you want a book that will make you feel warm and squishy inside, and provide just the right amount of distraction from the icy slip-n-slide your city has become, I gently urge you to grab this one up. It’s only .99 cents right now, and its worth every one of those pennies plus a few more.

Check it out:

Amazon • iBooks

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